iceberg. this is fantastic. >> guest: i can't thank you enough. this was fun. >> that was after words, booktv signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with the material. after words ears every weekend on book tv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. on sunday at 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch online. go to booktv.org and click on after words in the book tv nseries topic list of the upper right side of the page. ..
progressives talking of our religion, a catholic who gets impatient with the church and a christian who believes having a role to play in public life. i could imagine him taking the five minutes with the rationale. [laughter] but we here to talk about his book. how on a non way jerry falwell could have secularized christianity or politics but i do want to start with two questions. why does the catholic boy
cried about jerry falwell? and coupled with another question putting aside your. t, have you feel about him as a human being? put those together. >> it was suggested to me by a jewish friend from york. he said you wrote the book about catholics and progressives maybe you should do book about republicans and conservatives. he say i keep waiting for a biography of jerry falwell. i thought about it for about five seconds. i set of course, it is. most research was done for people the end for the
american way. every day worked on the project everyday was waking up in a photographic negative. i cared about this but everything was in the wrong place. as a consequential man, the republican party is largely living in his shadow. as i got involved, one of the things from my training it is his story. not my story. if you quote to something it was offensive, you don't have to say locale offensive. i offer no criticism except
the epilogue or the introduction. he is dead now. it was founded in realtime and made its way into the book i was not interested in retrospect. those people who were not like mine did like ted kennedy and head dinner with the family. then they were in florida. jerry prayed with rose kennedy. they were friends. and one letter of recommendation was written by senator kennedy. the most bizarre relationship was larry flint that went to with a
relationship going to the supreme court. a dog and pony show. with that symbiotic relationship, they enjoy each other. the initial allocation was the plane had technical difficulty. larry said to reverend falwell. i can give your ride in my plane. it is foolish to have both of our planes. every time he was in los angeles he would visit plant he said we agreed on nothing but he was my friend. >> when i told somebody was starting a project that should be interesting i
suspect that is not the most interesting thing about him. >> host: michael can now lend me his private plane. [laughter] there's a lot written before your book about how falwell came to politics and was recruited. i respect he was quite honest to make knowledge martin luther king did his work falwell was deeply opposed and eventually came out and said i am wrong. could you talk about the recruiting of jerry falwell? there was an outside catalyst. >> he was dipping his toe in
the waters talking about the anticommunist theme with roe v wade, worked with and the dead plant on the gay lesbian referendum. 1979 a group of republican and operatives went to manage berg you need to galvanize your base. he thought the people were not ready for this and would react bad the. teaching the spirituality the church should the be involved morrow reformation.
good discussion between faith and work but a direct response to the gospel movement but justice is a part of an ad and it was formed and 1965 he gave his ministers speech they came armed with a poll that showed the fundamentalist community were chomping at the bit and they felt the shared moral discourse and had them fly under the radar
screen was attacked they could not be protected in the ghetto as the churches, schools, and the university could no longer protect themself so they had to get politically involved and of course, it went into reshaping the entire culture >> host: talk about the bob jones case to galvanize. >> that was forming after the moral majority. the ira's decision preceded it. segregated schools and the irs said they have to have more in their charter.
the burden of proof is on the institution not the irs. it was such a groundswell it was the straw that broke the camel's back. not just arguing about public policy but say do this and not bad. jones call jerry falwell the most dangerous person in america because he continued to hold two idea of the reformation was not part of the church. >> host: can do talk about the way the religious conservatives often talk about as the people who converted southern
evangelicals when the political conversion to place in the mid-60s around civil rights many had already started voting republican. can you talk about the interaction and the evangelical movement? >> also he was a segregationist. he flipped on the idiot religious folks should be on politics. saying i was reading the bible wrong. you hoped he would read it more fairly but by the time they're pretty university was founded it was desegregated but i hope
scholars of seven history do more. does seem as it is being pulled apart the first explicit ideas of kristian nationalism coming to the four those put in forward to tocqueville and even though the political and legal situation had changed they held onto their superiority but they were no longer racially superior they had to feel superior elsewhere. that gives rise to a high per patriotism the you don't find. he ramps up and if you close
your eyes and you listen to governor palin talk about american exceptional lonesome, it is straight from the fall well play book. and you cannot appeal superior to the black folks in me will to the rest of the world. because we are american. >> host: it seems the obvious critique is you pose the psychological view on those. i could elaborate but. >> i am in the armchair and data like to be the
psychologists but but also in the political language. and in the church and does some 70. but to say this is what we will do but it organically developed in a way and it had not previously. >> fundamentalism that you write about in a lovely way way, but have a dc-8 of falwell follower was looking? what reaction? >> i hope they & you develop
a certain intimacy. you become somewhat sympathetic some my job as a historian i could not pull myself into the narrative. i don't criticize him more than his critics for those even who might have the greatest respect. his worst moments was his attack jerry falwell. it was religion and society. there were more intelligent and subtle criticism but there was dogmatism of the left and ways that unfair that we find in the book.
i tried to tell it without being of gloss on it. i don't fault him for being a catholic. [laughter] although everybody should be. >> host: let me read about fundamentalism from the inside it is coherent falling deeply into place a clarity and all the answers to all lives questions are in the bible if you know, where to look. it is morally rate -- rigorous fundamentalism is accessible not conform easily to parts of american culture the counter cultural and other parts for are appealing give
the sa exam monday as 80. >> i could use the words and switch announced to describe the g.o.p. primary. he did not just bring religion but fundamentalism. it is a response to the message to understand the bible one great line that said of the word of god says one thing and scholarships says something else, to hell with scholarships. that is not very useful for a political system built on dialogue. the orthodoxy, i would argue
to save paul will got republicans concerned about abortion. he did but to is if republicans do all issues in the fundamentalist view. item 12 pined for those days so for them is about introspect grover norquist is ideology. you are at heretic and republican in name only and you just don't see that attitude. now that extends to republican views you are not as orthodox as i am on israel, where the affordable
care act. this is his contribution to the republican party who formed it more than beginning -- ronald reagan. today's republican party is more of an error to jerry falwell than ronald reagan. >> host: very interesting. the parties replace national conventions. >> host: talk about his religious faith especially someone who could not talk to him directly. >> his father was agnostic, of bootlegger and very successful businessman of five . [laughter]
his moghter] his mother was about but clearly the junior partner in the at attended local college and one day talking to his members his group of fellows and said i want to hear preaching like my mom used to listen on the radio. they said go over to park avenue baptist church. they said go there there is also pretty girls. there was cnf and he converted that night.
it is not the authentic conversion. not a charlatan. of course, you're terrified you'll find a personal scandal upheld hong in his life. >> he just proved he is a true christian 90% would say that. [laughter] in the event they got it was not there. but like his personality there's a great story with the presbyterian minister who says ask a question about said different accounts.
and falwell answer was a professor in college taught me about that to my satisfaction. that was it known natural thing positive news. they do end up using the bible they get the idea is and go looking. benny he starts to cite other tax. fundamentalist say ours is the traditional way. they certainly do not treat the bible as a fundamentalist document as he would. >> something that i care about but you talk about in
relationship to kennedy. one great liberal theologian friendly and spent time down there. i don't want to put everybody into the same box. [laughter] and then with that capacity for friendship i am not sure many draw for people like that. >> he thought he would could convert everyone. jerry has gone to god but larry flint is still living. he reveled being on and the public stage even if he had to share the stage he was
acutely aware how there was a summit with gay evangelicals. he was aware you could have this symbiotic relationships their wrists media opportunities but yet to the venomous stings combative his mouth when the microphones came off and great guide to go get barbecue with and capacity for friendship that disarms people. >> talk about how fall well change the face i guess alan wolfe made the point* to reach talk about religion tarpaulin ticks or agusta in
theology or abortion or gay marriage at the church has been more politicized. can you talk about that? >> if you change the face of sweden but in america it is a big deal. names before 1979, the most prominent cases? dr. king, father drain and, they're not conservatives. >> and billy graham to his credit was not involved as faldo did in was courageous on segregation if they were
in an auditorium the required segregation he made them move location. he would not preach to segregated congregations but i think all wellcome's christian political involvements. the result is shutting down the moral majority nobody rises to take his place but through his university you have smaller jerry fall wells it and the law school puts out a lot of acolytes for the cause.
>> what about pat robertson? >> they had a friendship you to the different theologies. if there was a professor at was charismatic for holding a prayer meeting he was very suspicious he had gone to yale, the father a senator and always from the wrong side of the tracks. in the empire was never as large or as successful as a christian broadcasting network that robertson started. in 1988 when robertson ran falwell endorsed george hw bush. falwell understood the establishment very much.
he liked having his picture taken even though he opposed bush as a running mate he would understand there a years to get them on board before he made the run. >> does that man fall 12 would be for romney in this race? >> another one of falwell's contributions is get to evangelical to be nonbeliever. he relied on another thinker to say to be:belligerent he always have to have examples to help jesus carry his cross.
there is always a biblical analysis. i think romney not only deals with that but i think his mormanism helps him. because without that, he is just a moderate former governor who signed health care reform but what evangelicals no is conservative, underwrote the campaign for proposition viii. i am not sure it plays the current narrative that they say that it does. >> host: i am sure it is more complicated voters say they care passionately about voters believes a great deal
voting against romney and also worried about the mormon president. >> that comes to play with the committee that has some mistrust the you could vote for him over obama. two last questions. maybe a wold. i was fascinated of the notion the church was a prototype for what is the megachurch. is important not to confuse it with a rate wing politics
but of that is not the case but you talk about the model and how that developed. this credit is cents you have bible reading, prayer, also very horrified at sexual education introduced in the curriculum. already giving a ministry to alcoholics. his father died of a young age and his father shot his brother and then s he knew his congregation he was light the entrepreneurial about meetings their needs.
they started day-care center. of food center very much could not find any evidence but in the way ethnic irish urban parish of perceived hostility built their own schools the catholic church would have a union hall. falwell would not. [laughter] but the idea you create a ghetto that to it does not mean they cannot flourish as mario cuomo is of product of the catholic ghetto but yet that safety allows them to
flourish. to produce top rate scholars. and interested in the debate team and he created that because he felt the need to protect his own and others have followed that. researching an article five years ago to go to the washington suburb going to use group meeting young mothers meetings, seniors meetings, i got lost. everything refers to a tree. i was running late.
there was a jogger. he said i have no idea. it was a block and a half away. this person did not know his own neighborhood. i get to the meeting they talk about what they are challenging educational educational, this was a community. large sectors of our society people have a crying need for that sense of community. there is no equivalent of that on the left. we are allergic to the idea of the megachurch that maybe we need to go to some of them.
st. peter's is the megachurch form may. [laughter] not all are as aware bet to it was much more explicit the political. and the university was the first private institution to bring a lawsuit against the affordable care act the way jerry produced videos denouncing the efforts to reform health care in the clinton administration. socialized medicine. this model needs to a problem in a plug in community. they want to get together once a week with those who
are ultimately situated. i don't fault them for that. we need to pay attention to that the. >> of first church of christ? am i left, you're right, in terms of social services, how does a major church out reach defer the other than esiason with the parish hall model? >> can read do a couple added time? is that you? >> my question is you did
fall well a great deal of credit -- credit for changing christianity but to was a really fall well were i agree and philip? they came to a strange. >> but to identify as catholic? >> it seems when you talk about the capacity for friendship was he not playing a part in the fundamentalist more the evangelical christianity. are they behind it? >> there is not a
significant difference. i could not find any evidence. it is not either zero or but both and. but those to political realities he changed the way he spoke mia in phil donahue or nine blinder in the pulpit of the baptist church? you could have the interior conversation the way you can not any longer. they conceivably could not go to a different pastor. misunderstood he was quick
on his feet he liked the political fray but with a rafter because they were not pastors, they needed pastor to tap into the people in the pews. he brings on a computer fundraising firm after he had problems with the sec. they said you are sitting on a gold mine. you don't know how to tap into it. they found that americans are skeptical but evangelicals would open and the checkbook right away. there was incredible trust in their pastor.
did he need to work through those political things? have the instance of the first six months reagan makes a decision to leave the that agenda and defense that to say we have to fix that first the only time he broke with him was over the sale to the saudi arabian government. telling them a primary you cannot criticize any action whatsoever. not all were loathsome although some have anti-semitic attitudes.
but for those to reach a political expression. anti-semitism is -- of images of is the perennial temptation. of irony is he is warning against obama is a european and socialist. to know anything about the founding of israel? is an irony but it was lost on the fall well -- falwell. >> keep in the back ahead a different version is in a
way religion and prior to politics or politics prior to religion? is that fair? >> talk about in the '70s the conservative free the -- bishop would to falwell to be a spokesperson how did they reach out to in the of coming years in the faith? >> i think he thinks that question is a blessing. [laughter] >> it is similar. my question is, i get very concerned as leader of the faith based organization when the bishop seems to be weighing of the republican party.
could it be a book on how to tap the conference of bishops? senator santorum made a statement about radical environmental theology not based on our principles i'm still waiting to have a response to that. i am wondering. you are both strong catholics how you feel about what is happening? are they just another arm of the republican party? >> a very well timed question. [laughter] >> two quick questions. what was falwells relationship with billy
dram? did he have a relationship with franklin? how much impact on the goldwater campaign that what you saw in the 64 campaign? >> i have the similar question branching off of the goldwater seem. talk about the light hegemony in southern politics but a lot of things fate organized around the era for example, was the domination of masculinity could you speak to that tension?
and that was barry goldwater as well? >> the answer to my question from my colleague at the "washington post." [laughter] not before he was involved when christian masters should not be involved in politics but he has a ready developed into the social communism their rationale for the american way and you have an irony fundamentalism creation are genesis in response to the dominance of but they embrace these ideas we get to from people like
ayn rand with their views but they back into it. there is a great moment they had where he criticizes pierre trudeau. people say what are you talking about? just to see the word socialist assume there was an error against that we see today with the affordable care act. his relationship with billy graham was evangelical but not fundamentalist. gramm is burned by his involvement and felt burned but you would never mistake in a falwell seven from agrium seven.
says '02 comeback to the catholic question, i will say the left does a very bad job to reach out to bishops and the catholic left. five times a month have you written to your bishops asked for a meeting? had you called? in 1986 out of nowhere three san franciscans -- franciscans show of from italy to give reagan the bread of life. reagan goes from one meeting to another and with than one month every franciscan newspaper has a pitcher of
reagan with these men. try that with the obama white house. try that with the religious leaders. we have to do much better job on the left reaching out to to develop a friendship. make them aware of your concerns. white house. try that with the religious leaders. we have to do much better job on the left reaching out to to develop a friendship. make them aware of your concerns. to say a and a stand recover from. and they overreacted. they started to overplayed their hand. he can backpedal faster and
the column was great today. i hope you all read it. this issue is not about religious liberty but now contraception and how women are treated. going forward they don't have the power to frame an issue. have them work in a way for them. >> people talk about what would jesus do? that is a matter but what does he make of this approach? and in some sense of arguments of politics if the
foolishness of god is wiser. >> can you talk about in a progressive destitution people talk about the negative impact. >> with the first point* the theme with the introduction is t understood american public discourse you cannot bring bible citations. it did not win the argument. i think there is an idea if you reduce religion to ethics is access to the
public square within new participate in this secularization. when dr. king gave his speech i have a dream he talked about the creative redemptive power of suffering. i am familiar only if you are a jew who recognizes the book of job does that sentence make any sense whatsoever. dogma of course, is not negative but we have a strange notion of dogma and necessarily the this to the acquisition i don't know if that is true and in dr. king's case it was not. by reducing to affix but
recognize there was some truth there to reach different political and social conclusions but i do think as a basic thing to in franchise difference a sense and is not healthy for democracy to have people that are cut off. we have our road cut out for ourselves why rethink they are wrong but the most pernicious development of difference to restrict the franchise. to say this is out of bounds.
bringing americans into the political process. it is not healthy for society to be divorced from their own system. i don't like the way they vote but they are engaged, involved, and they get huge credit. >> this is a great joy for me. one of my favorite lines those to abides by god. this book is critical but it is looking with the political system they kill michael sean i will definitely by the book. [applause]